03 Dec 18

How is child support determined

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Child support is one of the biggest questions for most divorcing parents and all parents who are establishing a custody order for the first time. Parents want to know how much they can expect to pay or how much they can rely on to receive for the children. With child support orders lasting up until age 21 in the State of New York, what parents can expect in terms of child support is an important question. Child support is determined according to a formula established by the State of New York.

Child support is paid to the custodial parent

In New York, the court must designate one parent as the primary custodial parent. The parent that spends the most time with the children is the primary physical custodian. The other parent is the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. Even in cases where the parents have equal or nearly equal amounts of parenting time, the court still chooses one parent to be the primary physical custodian for purposes of child support. Generally, there’s no reduction in child support for the fact that the non-custodial parent spends time with the child, but the court can reduce the amount of child support that the non-custodial parent must pay in order to account for the direct support that they provide for the child.

Child support is determined by income

The purpose of child support in New York is to make sure that the children have the resources that they need and deserve based on the income of the paying parent. The child support formula tries to determine how much a typical family spends on a child based on income. They want the non-custodial parent to pay that amount to the recipient parent. Because parents with higher income usually spend more on their children, child support is a percentage of income. A parent pays a percentage of their gross income as their child support.

What counts as income for the purposes of determining child support in New York?

In order to arrive at the correct amount of support, the court must inquire into all of the different resources that a person might have available as income. Most people know that employment income counts, but a parent might have income that’s not recorded like tips or self-employment. These types of other income count for child support purposes. A parent might have disability pay or social security pay. Even regular gifts can count as income in some circumstances. The court wants to look at the entire set of circumstances in order to determine what the parent has available to pay support.

What are the child support percentages in New York?

In New York, a child support payment is a percentage of gross income. The exact amount depends on the number of children that are the subject of the order. A parent with one child pays 17 percent of their income in child support. If they have two children, they pay 25 percent, and for three children, they pay 29 percent. As children age out of the child support order, the percentages that the parent must pay are reduced.

What kinds of things can impact a child support case?

The court starts by determining the base child support amount from the non-custodial parent’s income. However, most child support awards are not the base amount. The court also looks at what the child needs in terms of medical support including health insurance and out-of-pocket bills for medical expenses.

The court can require either of the parents to put the child on their employer-sponsored health insurance or buy health insurance for the child. In addition, if the custodial parent needs child care, the court can order the paying parent to pay an extra amount to cover a share of the child care. A contribution for child care should be prorated so that each of the parents contributes an amount. The court may order child care so that a parent can work or attend school. Finally, if the child has extraordinary educational expenses, the child support order can reflect how each parent is to contribute to the expenses.

Things to know about child support in New York

Custodial parents must pay an annual service fee of $25 for child support collection and disbursement. If a parent doesn’t pay support as the court orders, they’re subject to the enforcement powers of the court which may include jail time. In addition, either parent can ask the court to change the child support amount if the circumstances change or a parent’s income changes significantly

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